Burngreave Messenger

Issue 24 August 2002

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Dear Burngreave Messenger

I have just read your article entitled “Time To Listen To Carwood Youth.”

An attempt to provide for the young people of this estate is long overdue. However, the individuals chosen to illustrate this cause me some concern. Most were involved in a campaign of terror against a local elderly woman who had to be moved by the council. Most of the windows in the row I live in and the flats opposite occupied by elderly people have been put through at least once. Many of us have received threats, including death threats. We have witnessed knives and guns being wielded in the street and serious abuse of elderly residents. I am unable to have my own son stay with me as he is in danger of attack.

Only two of those pictured have lived on the estate for more than 18 months. Three of the others are members of families moved by the council after being evicted from elsewhere for anti-social behaviour. It is rumoured that the council believed that if they were moved in amongst ‘nice’ people they would become ‘nice’ people. If this is the case, as a victim of this imbecilic policy, I would like to suggest that the next time the council wants to experiment in this way they move those involved to Dore, there are lots of ‘nice’ people there we are told. If the problems inflicted on this area did exist in Dore, I would lay odds they would have been addressed instantly, not left to fester for years, as is the case here.

Those involved do not only include children. One of those involved is a mother in her twenties. She appears to want to develop her own ‘hood’ based on the LA gangs. Children as young as five are encouraged to smash windows, harass residents and trash the area. Anyone who intervenes is treated to abuse, threats and broken windows. Another mother has stood and watched while her children (and others) demolished and torched a car.

What has been happening is not something over which the council has had no control. There are virtually no facilities for kids in this area, considerably less than when I moved here seven years ago. Years of neglect and cuts by the council have left us with a generation of children who are bored stupid and ripe for exploitation by what Karl Marx described as the lumpen proletariat, and we are witnessing the worst kinds of lumpen behaviour.

I applaud John Robinson and Philip Hoppner’s attempts to work with these individuals, like the majority of residents I am not a member of the ‘hang ‘em and flog ‘em’ brigade, but to portray them as victims and the other residents as culpable not only ignores the facts, it reinforces the impression, in these children’s minds, that this is normal behaviour. Or, to put it another way, they should learn to recognise when they are having their plonkers pulled.

Name and address witheld


To Whom It May Concern,

As local residents who use the park on a daily basis, would like to thank Lee, Panni, and everyone who helped organise the Multi-Cultural Festival. We certainly had a great time, there was plenty to see and do, and it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves and getting on like we all should. Great day, brilliant organising. Thanks.

Mr R. Hanna
Mr T. Butler

 

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